How to Check for Bed Bugs
Checking for bed bugs is the same for any location and doing so can help to prevent the spread of the insects. When traveling, make sure to protect yourself by preparing your luggage, checking your room and cleaning and inspecting everything once you return home. When moving into a new living area, inspect, question, and examine the area before committing to a lease or purchase. A small effort in advance can help to avoid larger problems later on.
How to Check Your Hotel Room for Bed Bugs
Bed bugs leave traces for us to find. They leave red and brown fecal matter in visible places and are habitual in the types of places where they rest. When entering a hotel room, place your suit case on top of a dresser or rack away from the bed. Then immediately go to the bed and lift the mattress and examine the material between the mattress and box spring. If you see brownish black lines or any type of staining the room may be infested with bed bugs. The picture below shows the mess left by the insects to include the exoskeletons left behind as the insects molt.
The next place to look is in the headboard of the bed and along the frame of the bed where it meets the box spring. Here you should be checking for any traces of bed bugs or actual insects. Using a flashlight can help you to see more clearly in dark places where the insects may be lurking. Then check the rest of the room to include the curtains, bedspread (since these are rarely washed), the area where the carpet meets the wall, and any other possible hiding spaces such as cracks and crevices and the drawers in the night stands and dressers. Do this in all hotels even if it is a higher class resort hotel, because the bed bugs can hitch a ride on anyone and overnight become a real issue for guest.
How to Check Your Potential Apartment or Dormitory for Bed Bugs
When students go away for college, bed bugs are the last thing on their minds, but it should be one of the first. When looking for an apartment check with current tenants to see if any bed bug problems have been reported or ask others if they are being bitten at night and aren’t sure what is causing the problems. Also ask the landlord if any problems have existed in the past and what type of treatments were used to clean the apartment. If there are any reports of previous infestations, you may want to move on to the next location. Multi-family units such as hotels and dormitories are at a higher risk for infestations due to the numerous sources of food for the insects throughout the building. The insects can easily move from dweling to dweling creating a problem for the whole building.
Bed bugs can survive about a year without feeding, so an empty, clean, apartment may still pose a threat. If possible, hire a professional to inspect the property before moving in. One way is to find a fully licensed K-9 scent detection unit focusing on locating and eradicating bed bugs. The dogs are specially trained to detect bed bugs and then a licensed exterminator can use various techniques to eliminate the pest from your location.
How to Check Your Home
Since you spend most nights in your own bed, you may become aware of the problem because of the numerous bites around the pits of your knees, on your shins, around your neck and on your arms among other places on your body. The insects inject saliva containing anticoagulants and anesthetics so you don’t feel them feeding on you. Then when you wake up, small red bite marks are all over your legs and body. If this is occurring, you need to take immediate action to identify and eliminate the insects.
Follow the same steps for inspection as you would in a hotel room. If you locate the insects, compare them to accurate photos to ensure you have a bed bug problem and then call a professional. Most exterminators can treat for bed bugs, but finding someone who specializes in bed bug detection is the best weapon. As mentioned, one way is to hire a K-9 scent detection unit found in many states to include Florida and Ohio. Dayton’s Bed Bug Dog is one example of how scent detection dogs are being used to quickly identify the location of the bugs and implement treatment options to quickly eradicate the problems.
You can also use different methods to determine if you have bed bugs if you have not been bitten. Using a flashlight and a magnifying glass, search late in the evening around the edges of the bed, along crevices between the wall and carpeting and under the sheets. Or you can have one person go to be and then after they have been sleeping for a few hours enter the room and turn on the lights. Often, if the bedbugs are present, they will crawl onto the top of the bed to feed and you will find them in the sheets or on the pillows.
Understanding the nature of the problem can help you to detect the insects and protect yourself from bed bug problems. Take the time to inspect and question in advance to keep bed bugs out.
Do you have any questions about detecting bed bugs? We would love to hear from you.